Cushman & Wakefield’s Jim Murray Awarded Order of Ontario
Cushman & Wakefield SVP and Mississauga community builder Jim Murray has been awarded the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest and most prestigious honour. We spoke with Jim—a relentless fundraiser for worthy local causes—about the payback he gets from giving back.
The Order of Ontario doesn’t come easy. But Jim, whose efforts through the years have helped raise nearly $10M for community and business improvement projects in Mississauga, had ringing endorsements from former Ontario Premier Bill Davis (who declared him “more than deserving” of the honour) and ex-Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, who cited Jim's “tireless” community involvement. “You find if you hang around long enough," he says, "every time there’s something going on, somebody calls and says we need help, can you join this group? Next thing you know it kind of becomes a lifestyle.”
Over 50-plus years of community involvement, Jim's served on the boards of Credit Valley Hospital, Peel Regional Police Commission, Peel Children’s Aid Foundation and the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts. He’s also leading fundraising for Phase 2 of Sheridan College’s Hazel McCallion Campus (above). He doesn’t get much downtime, though. One night he came home and his wife, Janis, was out for dinner. So he flipped on the TV, which he hasn’t really done in years. “She came home and I said, ‘I just saw the funniest show, you should check it out.’ She asked, ‘What’s it called?’ I said Seinfeld.”
Jim (seen with Mayor McCallion and Mike Love of the Beach Boys, who performed at the 2011 mayor’s gala) says he’s “never once asked anybody for any business” via his charity work. But the commercial broker doesn’t hesitate to provide real estate counsel when asked. “And if you give people good advice, eventually they phone and say, 'I need some services, can you come see me?',” Jim says, noting Cushman & Wakefield manages real estate for Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, United Way and Peel Children’s Centres. His team also secured office space in Brampton and Mississauga for Community Door, a social services hub.
The man’s no stranger to accolades. Jim’s been Mississauga Citizen of the Year and Mississauga Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. He’s also the recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He’s hung with Howie Mandel (above), and even has a 12-acre community park named after him. “I shake my head sometimes wondering how that happened." Being so involved takes time and energy, “but there’s an enormous emotional payback from contributing and feeling like you’re making the community a better place.”